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And If This World Runs Out of Lovers
Apr 25th, 2017 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Pets at the pound have the worst names. My friend once got a mutt whose name original name was “Sarge.” “Sarge” (renamed Caffrey after adoption) is the most docile dog I’ve ever known. If he ever was the Sergeant for a group of soldiers, then I don’t think Dog Nation is winning that war. The thing is, nobody can say anything to people who drop animals off at the shelter, especially if they are no-kill shelter, because doing that is a kindness. But I think Boggit would appreciate it if we dropped the politeness going forward here. No, just kidding, he loves everyone.

Boggit’s original name was “Boppity.” He came to the shelter with two siblings, “Bippity” and “Boo.” I couldn’t remember the name Boppity, not that he was going to keep that anyway, so I called him Boggit after a character from the text adventure Knight Orc. “Fungus the Boggit-man” is a villain in the game where everyone is a villain. My boy is too nice, he couldn’t get a paw in that game. He could not get a single extended nail in the area between the floor and the bottom edge of the door in that game. He’s just too good, which is why I like that name.

The vet called yesterday. Confirmed: Boggit has lymphoma. OK. We figured as much. I was hoping someone left out a can of extra-white blood cells and he ate it, but no. This is bad but there are options. Well, choices.

You can put cats on chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The cost is anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000 depending on your sources and age of the Geocities page it was originally presented on. Here’s the thing, if there was a cure I’d roll up my sleeves and get to work. Get a second job, put money away each week, charge it, sell some stuff. Christ, there’s enough tchotchkes to sell around here to fund the discovery of the actual cure. But no, no cure exists. If it were just money, if I just had to sacrifice or whatever, we’d be doing this.

There is not a cure.

And in fact, from what I understand, while radiation can put the cancer in remission it means that the cat doesn’t have a great life for the five months of treatment. I want my buddy to have a great life for as long as possible. I decided to go with the other treatment option, which is a couple of liquid pills. Cats respond to this option in three ways: those that show no improvement, those that will live for another year and then a group that does great, longer than a year. I’m just hoping that Boggit is in that second group and anything else is a bonus.

On Sunday, Boggit and I went out into the garden. I never let him go outside that much before because I wanted him to be a healthy indoor cat. Well, at this point unless a hawk swoops down and flies off with him, I think that ship has sailed.

He seemed a bit overwhelmed at first. The newness of the environment has him hopping from location to location, digging his claws into the earth, meowing at me in solidarity. While he curls up into a basket we made for him for most of the day when we’re at work, it’s great to see him run around in the garden when outside. He knows not to go under the deck and frankly, while I’m out there, I can use the sunlight myself. At the end of our last time out, he hopped onto a chair and took a quick nap.

We are supposed to get some drugs to hopefully get him that extra year. We are putting the order in today. There is a bit out of my control here. The vet is calling the drug company to get the initial order. They are making them liquid and we got to pick the flavor. After confirming that they did not offer the taste sensations of pizza, saag paneer or Ice Cream Cones cereal, we went with chicken. The vet said that the idea is you get a month’s supply at first and see how the cat does before ordering a ton of it. OK, but if they ARE chicken-flavored and Boggit doesn’t like them then, hell, I’ll take them. (Cats don’t lose their hair during lymphoma treatment, so while I can’t shave mine for solidarity, I can just down the chicken medicine with him if there’s extra.) There’s a lot to go wrong here because the USPS has not been delivering our packages for two years. I finally – and this is after two years of trying – got a hold of a guy at the post office that is supposed to run things. I mean, who knows, maybe he’s not the end boss but just another clown to defeat to get to the end of the level. I am going to try very, very hard to not yell at this person to make sure we get our fucking packages now because this isn’t a box that contains some dice with extra THAC0s or a bust of Sinestro that I ordered though Amazon, this is medicine, so no more fucking around. My dad would scream at someone if I were the one who was sick. He’d revel in it. Sometimes you just want to scream.

One more thing. There is a difference when it’s a cat that has cancer instead of a person, of course. Well, there’s probably a hundred but this is my first time going through this with anybody. You don’t … you don’t have to appear outwardly strong around the cat. When I break down thinking about what life is inevitably going to be like without him, he cocks his head up, stands on my lap and licks my tears. I hope he forgives me for tasting like a chicken through all this.

All My Worst Days
Apr 24th, 2017 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Boggit had lost a great deal of weight. While initially suspected of just being a success story as the new picture of health in our household (“what’s his secret?”) he lost enough to where I took him to the vet. His white blood cell count was extremely high, he had anemia, he – the vet said – probably has lymphoma.

Shit.

There is something I want to desperately communicate to you. The one thing to take out of this (waves hands) all of this. Boggit is the sweetest boy of all-time. My fiancee and I combined households a few years ago, and we had already taken on pets from previous relationships. So there’s a number of them. If I keep writing this paragraph I don’t have to end it, which is that we have two golden retrievers and five cats between us now. (“We tell people six so we don’t have to tell them seven.” — apologies to Ben Parrish.)

I didn’t wake up one day dying to live with that many animals, nobody does, but it happens and we are a family and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I can easily sort the animals into two groups: those that are effortless and those that create and cause huge problems. Boggit and Noelani are the only two in the first group. Everyone else is a radical hellion capable of a diverse madness.

Boggit didn’t deserve this, which (not to be a jerk) I couldn’t say about a number of pets in the other column. (It’s okay, they don’t read the blog either.) I got Boggit on December 23rd, 2006. He was born sometime in October of 2006. He is ten and a half years old and to not act up once in ten in a half years is AMAZING. He loves laying on a person’s lap (almost the entirety of Cryptozookeeper was written with Boggit on my lap as I wrote code) he loves playing outside (he is an indoor cat, so he’s not allowed to do that normally, but when I have taken him out it’s the greatest thing) he loves chasing after moths and computer centipedes and loves the laser pointer and cat toys and playing tag and sleeping upstairs on the couch.

They were able to take some cells after his ultrasound, but we’re all pretty convinced that it is lymphoma. I am reading everything I can. I want to maximize the number of his good days. It’s easy to write this now, it’s been a few days. He’s so good at the vet because he’s chill. They didn’t have to sedate him to get the cells. I broke down on the way home. I let the lid off the cat carrier but he was happy to relax inside as we drove home.

“I don’t know how we’re going to get out of this one, buddy,” I said.

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